Academic or General IELTS?

Academic and General IELTS – What’s the difference?

There are two versions of the IELTS exam: Academic and General. Here’s a quick guide to the differences (and similarities) between them.

Both versions of the IELTS exam have four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same in both versions, but the Reading and Writing sections are different.

For both versions, in the Listening section, you listen to a total of four monologues and conversations, and answer a variety of different questions on them. You only listen once and the test is approximately thirty minutes.

For both versions, in the Speaking section, you answer questions on familiar topics, speak continuously for one to two minutes on a topic, and answer questions on more abstract topics. You do the speaking exam individually with one examiner. It’s eleven to fourteen minutes long.

For Academic Reading, you read three longer texts and answer a variety of questions about them. The texts are more academic in nature. You have one hour to complete the test.

For General Reading, you also read three texts and answer a variety of questions on them, but these texts are more related to work and general interests. This test is also thirty minutes.

For Academic Writing, you write two pieces of writing. The first is a summary of information. You might be asked to summarise information from a chart or graph, a table, or a diagram showing a process, objects or maps or plans. The second piece of writing is an essay. You have one hour in total for both Writing tasks.

For General Writing, you also write two pieces of writing. The first task is a letter and the second task is an essay. The length of the exam is also one hour in total for both Writing tasks.

Now you know a little more about the difference and similarities between Academic and General IELTS.

At Eurospeak Language School we offer our IELTS exam students real IELTS practice material and for homework and in class.

We also have additional resources, practice IELTS exams and sample IELTS material for you to use in your own time, at home, or to study in the students’ area.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Reading or Eurospeak Southampton, please contact us on:

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29a Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

 

Effective Reading Techniques

We all know that reading in a second language can be tricky. Why is this and what can you do about it so that you can become an effective reader?

Let’s first consider obstacles to effective reading. Are you reading something you enjoy? If you wouldn’t read it in your first language, then you certainly won’t want to read it in your second language! So choose something that you actually want to read to motivate yourself to do it more.

Another obstacle is feeling that you need to understand every single word. Well, you do NOT need to understand every word to read effectively. Effective reading is possibly as long as you can understand the important words in a text.

So, how can you be an effective reader? The answer to this depends on why you are reading. You might be reading just to get the gist of a text, in other words, to understand in general what the text is about. If you are reading for this reason, try skimming, which involves reading a text quickly to understand its main ideas, but not to grasp all the details. If you are reading for details, then you should try scanning. When you scan, you take a closer look at the text to find out more information about particular points of interest.

Another key to effective reading is the ability to read at a good speed. If you think you’re reading too slowly, give yourself a time limit when you read – and stick to it! If you don’t finish within your time limit the first time, don’t give up – with practice, you will improve!

It’s also a good idea to practice reading using shorter texts. Taking on a very long text can be daunting, and you might find that you give up reading it. So, read something shorter and more manageable – you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something when you’ve finished it, which will make you feel good and encourage you to read more.

Finally, to be an effective reader you, of course, need to understand what you read. A great way to check your understanding of what you’ve read is to write a summary of it after you’ve read it. If you can do this, then you have understood; if some parts are difficult to write, you can go back to your reading text again for clarification.

So, find something that you want to read, implement these ideas and you’ll be on the road to becoming an effective reader.

At Eurospeak we offer our Cambridge exam students real Cambridge reading material and authentic exam practice material for homework and in class.

We also have a class library scheme for General English classes, so that you can choose the book of your choice, at the correct CEFR Level, and return it once you have finished!

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Reading or Eurospeak Southampton, please contact us on:

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29a Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

The Benefits of Language Learning

THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING ANOTHER LANGUAGE

Ever wanted to learn another language but found there was always something stopping you? Well, here are six great reasons to just get on with it!

Career Prospects:

More and more these days employers are looking for people who can speak more than one language. Learning another language can boost your chances of being offered your dream job, but that’s not the only benefit – think of all the exciting foreign travel you might experience through your work!

Cognitive Development:

Learning another language improves your cognition in a number of ways: better memory, increased attention span and reduced risk of mental decline as you grow older. Different words and expressions in your new language can also help you to see the world in different ways.

Other Cultures:

When you learn another language, you also learn about the countries and cultures where people speak that language. This is beneficial in itself, but it also helps to broaden your mind and makes your more open to new people and experiences.

Don’t Get Lost in Translation:

Ever watched something translated into your language and thought, I just don’t get the joke? That’s because so much is lost in translation. If you learn another language, you can watch TV and films, and read books in their original language and experience them in the way they were meant to be experienced, in other words, you will get the joke!

Your Own Language:

Learning another language helps to improve your knowledge of your own language. By learning about the grammar of another language, you will become more familiar with how your own language is structured.

Even More Languages:

Once you’ve learnt one second language, the good news is that it is then so much easier to learn additional languages. You will learn your third, fourth and even fifth language a lot more quickly than your second language because of the cognitive effects learning a language has on your brain and also because you will have developed study skills that you can apply more rapidly to additional language learning.

So, no more excuses! Start learning another language today!

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Reading or Eurospeak Southampton, please contact us on:

Eurospeak Southampton
10 Cumberland Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636494
hello@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29a Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589599
info@eurospeak.org.uk
www.eurospeak.org.uk

 

I AIN’T ABLE TO USE AIN’T!

Ain’t: you’ve heard people using this word – and you might even have seen it written down – but you’re not really sure what it means or how to use it. Well, read on and you won’t go wrong!

 

Here’s the short explanation:

ain’t = am not / isn’t / aren’t

OR

ain’t = haven’t / hasn’t

And here’s more detail:

Ain’t exists in the same form for all persons:

I ain’t

you ain’t

he / she / it ain’t

we ain’t

you ain’t

they ain’t

You can basically use it any time when you would normally use am not / isn’t / aren’t or haven’t / hasn’t:

We ain’t finished yet. = We aren’t finished yet. OR We haven’t finished yet.

Ain’t you finished yet? = Aren’t you finished yet? OR Haven’t you finished yet?

You ain’t gonna be finished on time. = You aren’t going to be finished on time.

(More on gonna in a future post!)

Ain’t also exists in some fixed expressions, for example:

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. = If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

(Yes, this fixed expression does contain a grammatical error –  broke instead of broken!)

And there even used to be a comedy TV show in Britain with ain’t in the title:

It Ain’t Half Hot Mum

Ain’t only exists as a contraction – there is no full form. Contractions are informal; full forms are formal, so you can deduce from this that ain’t must be a pretty informal word. In fact, it is extremely informal – use it with your friends, maybe post it on social media, but definitely don’t write it in an academic assignment for university!

So, the next time you’re using English in a very informal situation, try using ain’t. There ain’t nothing stopping you!

 

Top Tips For The B2 First Writing Exam!

Writing can be scary – especially when you have to do it in a second language and in an exam!

Use these top tips to help you succeed:

Time Management:

You have 1 hour 20 minutes for the Writing exam and each of the two parts is worth the same number of marks. Therefore, you should spend 40 minutes on each part. If you spend too much time on one part, you will not have enough time for the other part and your marks will suffer.

How many questions do I answer?

The short answer is two questions. There are two parts in the B2 First Writing exam. In Part 1, there is only one question, so you must answer this. In Part 2, there are three questions, but you only answer one of them. You choose which question you want to answer in Part 2.

What do I write about?

The questions include points that you must include in your answer. You need to be able to identity the points that the questions ask you to write about and then make sure that you write about them in your answer. If you do not include all the points, you will lose marks.

Style & Register:

It is important that you write in an appropriate style. Part one always asks you to write an essay; in Part 2, you might write a letter / email, review, article or report. The way you write a report is different to the way you write a letter, so if you are writing a report make sure it is in the style of a report, not in the style of a letter!

Register is also important. The questions will tell you who you are writing for. Use this information to help you decide if you need to write formally, semi-formally or informally.

Coherence & Cohesion:

To make your writing coherent, you need to write something that makes sense; to make your writing cohesive, you need to link your writing together – using linking words and expressions will help you to do this.

Grammar & Vocabulary:

The examiners are not looking for perfection! They know that you are learning English and that your language will develop over time. Therefore, it is better to use more complex grammar and vocabulary and make some mistakes rather than to use simpler language perfectly.

Put these top tips into practice in your B2 First Writing exam and you will be on the road to success! Good luck with your exam!

WHY STUDY IN THE UK?

The UK is one of the top most desired tourism destinations receiving more than forty million visits a year from people all over the world.

But it is not all about tourism, the UK is also one of the main destinations for lovers of the English Language. Thousands of  students decide to come to learn or improve their English skills in its birthplace.

What are the benefits?

  • Studying in the UK means that you will have total immersion in English, improving your language skills quickly on a daily basis.
  • Accredited English Language Schools are regularly inspected ensuring high quality teaching and learning experience.
  • People from all over the world come to study English in the UK giving you the most exciting experience of becoming friends and  learning about other students’ cultures and traditions.
  • Study English for professional purposes. English language  schools offer English courses that are specific to your career subject giving you advantage when applying for jobs.
  • The UK has a rich history and culture, many places to visit with easy planned journeys to vibrant cities, tourist sights and a beautiful countryside.
  • Living abroad and studying for personal, professional or educational purposes will develop your confidence, communication and independence skills.

Studying where the English Language was born will expose you to many accents and dialects which definitely make this experience challenging and very exciting!

To study with us please access our website.

HELLO SOUTHAMPTON!

We are proud to announce the opening of Eurospeak Language Schools in Southampton!

Eurospeak Southampton opened on the 22nd October 2018 and is Eurospeak’s second location in the UK.

Eurospeak Southampton is beautiful, historic building with 4 floors, which is a 5 minute walk from Southampton Central train station, 5 minutes’ walk from Southampton city centre and also opposite the biggest park in Southampton, Watts Park.

We’d love for you to come and have a look at our wonderful building and classrooms, on 10 Cumberland Place, SO15 2BH, Southampton.

Eurospeak Southampton runs General English courses, Cambridge Exam Preparation Courses and IELTS exam preparation courses and does not compromise on the quality of classes or teachers.

We pay attention to your English language learning needs, with morning classes, which are an equal mix of speaking, listening, reading and writing. With private classes also available if you feel the need of extra attention. This would allow you to improve your overall ability and understanding of the language structure, vocabulary and application.

As a student of Eurospeak, you would also have a personalised assessment with your class teacher (an Individual Learning Plan), to identify your personal learning goals, and which aspects of English you need to improve to meet your goals. This would include personalised feedback and additional study material to practice in your free time.

You would also have access to our Virtual Classroom. This is a huge benefit to students who want to study more at home. The Virtual Classroom is accessible from any computer (with an internet connection), any place, at any time. The VC has a study and activity library of practice tests, additional exercises and additional study material for students to use, free of cost.

  • We have a friendly multicultural student community
  • Town centre location: 5 minute walk from West Quay shopping centre, 5 minute walk from Southampton Central train station
  • We have the most modern interactive SMART flat panels in all of our classrooms
  • We use interactive learning software in all of our classes
  • Comprehensive social programme for students to engage with each other, meet new friends and practice English socially, not just in the classroom

If you’re interested or have any questions friendly and attentive team will be very happy to help!

Make sure you come in for a visit! Classes start on Wednesday 2nd January 2019!

 

Student FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

 

Eurospeak Language School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How many classes do I have left?
2. When does my course/membership finish?
3. When does the next term start? or When does this term finish?
4. I missed some classes during my membership. Do I lose the classes?
5. Can I transfer my membership classes to another student?
6. Can I transfer my remaining classes to another student?
7. Can I transfer my morning/afternoon/evening classes to morning/afternoon/evening classes?
8. Can I move up/down to another class?
9. How long does the course take?
10. Can I join an existing course?
11. What does General English class include?
12. How many people are in one class?
13. Which books do you use in class?
14. Do I have to buy a book?
15. When is the next Cambridge FCE/CAE Exam?
16. Can I register for the Cambridge FCE/CAE Exam?
17. Can I register for Cambridge FCE/CAE Exam even I am not your student?
18. Can you post my Cambridge certificate to my country?
19. Are you open during Christmas?
20. What happens to classes I miss through Bank Holidays?
21. Can I have a refund for my classes?
22. If my visa is refused, will my fees be refunded?
23. My company/employer is going to pay for my course. Can you send an invoice?
24. Can an under 18 study outside of summer school?
25. Can you help me find accommodation?
26. Can I take the IELTS exam with Eurospeak?


1. How many classes do I have left?

Please ask us by email, telephone or in person about how many classes you have left, and we will be happy to tell you.

2. When does my course/membership finish?

Please ask us which day your course finished by email, telephone or in person and we will be happy to tell you

3. When does the next term start? or When does this term finish?

Please see our term dates for 2017 below:

Winter Term 2017 (12 Weeks)
Starting: 3rd January 2017
Finishing: 24th March 2017

Spring Term 2017 (12 weeks)
Starting: 27th March 2017
Finishing: 16th June 2017

Summer Term 2017 (11 weeks)
Starting: 19th June 2017
Finishing: 1st September 2017

Autumn Term 2017 (15 weeks)
Starting: 4th September 2017
Finishing: 15th December 2017

4. I missed some classes during my membership. Do I lose the classes?

Yes.

On the membership scheme, you lose any classes you do not attend during the membership period. If you have any holidays or days that you cannot attend during the membership, you must tell us when you pay for the membership and sign the terms and conditions. Please see the membership terms and conditions here.

5. Can I transfer my membership classes to another student?

No.

On the membership scheme, you cannot transfer the membership to any other student. Please see the membership terms and conditions here.

6. Can I transfer my remaining classes to another student?

No.

As a PAYG student, you cannot transfer any classes to any other student.

7. Can I transfer my morning/afternoon/evening classes to morning/afternoon/evening classes?

Yes.

Please ask us if you want to switch your classes to another session, and we will work out if it is possible.

8. Can I move up/down to another class?

Yes – but you cannot move up and down to different classes when you want.

If you want to move to a higher level, you should speak with your teacher and ask if they think that you are ready to go up to a higher level.

If you want to move to a lower level, you should explain to your teacher why you want to move down, and tell us at reception. We will work out if it is possible for you to move.

9. How long does the course take?

Usually each class completes a coursebook within one term (12 – 15 weeks).

10. Can I join an existing course?

Yes.

We operate a continuous enrolment policy, so you can join any class, at any time of year.

11. What does General English class include?

General English classes include a mixture of speaking, listening, reading and writing. You will practice each part of the language equally.

12. How many people are in one class?

On average there are around 8 – 12 people in each class.

13. Which books do you use in class?

For the Winter 2017 term, we are currently using the following books in class:


Morning and Evening Elementary (A1) Class:
New English File Elementary

 

Morning and Evening Pre-Intermediate (A2) Class: English File 3rd Edition – Pre-Intermediate

 

 


Morning and Evening Intermediate (B1) Class: English File 3rd Edition – Intermediate

 


Morning Upper-Intermediate/FCE Preparation (B2) Class: Complete First

 


Morning Advanced/CAE Preparation (C1) Class: Objective Advanced

 


Morning IELTS Preparation Class: Ready For IELTS

 

 


Evening Upper-Intermediate (B2) Class: Straightforward Upper-Intermediate

 

 


Evening Advanced (C1) Class: Complete Advanced

 

 


Evening Business English: Business Result Upper-Intermediate

 

 

14. Do I have to buy a book?

Yes.

Every student must buy a book for the classes they attend.

15. When is the next Cambridge FCE/CAE Exam?

The next Cambridge exams at Eurospeak are as follows:

FCE (Cambridge First Certificate in English)
Date: Saturday 8th April 2017
Price: £125
Final Registration: 10th February 2017
Late Entries Accepted Until: 24th February 2017
Late Entry Fee: £25
Speaking Exam: TBC (31st March – 9th April 2017)

CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English)
Date: Saturday 1st April 2017
Price: £130
Final Registration: 10th February 2017
Late Entries Accepted Until: 24th February 2017
Late Entry Fee: £25
Speaking Exam: TBC (24th March – 2nd April 2017)

16. Can I register for the Cambridge FCE/CAE Exam?

Yes.

To register for the exam, you need to:
– Complete the Cambridge Exam Registration Form
– Bring a copy of your ID
– Pay the exam fee

Please email us or ask at reception, and we will be able to give you more information about the exam.

17. Can I register for Cambridge FCE/CAE Exam even I am not your student?

No.

We are a closed exam centre, therefore only students that study with us at Eurospeak are eligible to register for Cambridge exams at our centre.

18. Can you post my Cambridge certificate to my country?

Yes.

We can post Cambridge certificates to anywhere in the world, but you must pay for the postage cost. Within Europe, the cost is £10. Please make sure you give us your address too!

19. Are you open during Christmas?

Yes.

Our classes do not run for 2 weeks during the holiday period between Christmas and New Year.

Please see our bank holiday and school closed dates for 2017/18 here.

20. What happens to classes I miss through Bank Holidays?

If you are on a membership scheme, bank holidays are not counted in the days you can attend.

If you are a student visitor, bank holidays are included in the booking period and you lose these days.

If you are a PAYG student,

21. Can I have a refund for my classes?

No.

We do not issue refunds for any classes already booked and paid. Please read our terms and conditions before you pay for your classes to make sure you fully understand them.

22. If my visa is refused, will my fees be refunded?

If your Student Visitor Visa is refused, we can issue a refund.

To issue the refund for a visa refusal, we require the following documents:
– Complete copy of all pages of the visa refusal letter.
– Complete copy of all pages of the students passport.
– Completion of the Refund Request Form here.

23. My company/employer is going to pay for my course. Can you send an invoice?

Yes.

Please put us in contact with your employer’s HR or Accounts department, and we will send an invoice to them for your course or classes.

24. Can an under 18 study outside of summer school?

Yes.

The minimum age of students in our adult classes, outside of summer is 16 years old.

25. Can you help me find accommodation?

Yes.

We offer the following types of accommodation:
– Host Family
– Student Residence

Please see our accommodation page here for more information.

26. Can I take the IELTS exam with Eurospeak?

No.

We offer IELTS Exam Preparation classes, but you cannot take the IELTS exam at Eurospeak. If you need help booking your IELTS exam, please ask and we will be happy to help.

Cambridge Exam Dates April 2017

At Eurospeak we are happy to present our Cambridge Exam Dates for April 2017!

 

FCE (Cambridge First Certificate in English)

Date: Saturday 8th April 2017
Price: £125
Final Registration: 10th February 2017
Late Entry Fee: £25
Speaking Exam: TBC (31st March – 9th April 2017)

CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English)

Date: Saturday 1st April 2017
Price: £130
Final Registration: 10th February 2017
Late Entry Fee: £25
Speaking Exam: TBC (24th March – 2nd April 2017)

Please ask at reception to register.

Please remember we need a copy of an official photo ID, which you must also bring with you on the day of the exam.

We also need the payment, a completed registration form and your speaking partner (if you already have one).

We are a closed centre, so you must study with us if you wish to take the exam. For more information about our Cambridge Preparation classes, please see our courses on our website.

We also have fantastic membership options for intensive preparation courses.

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